We’re in exceptionally challenging times and my sympathies are with, and best wishes go out to, all residents and their families and friends who are in any way affected by this virus.
It’s been heartening to see so many of our communities mobilise local efforts to help those vulnerable, elderly, in need or self-isolating within hours of central government outlining its plans of how to deal with the outbreak at the start of last week. People are setting up very local support networks with neighbours to keep an eye on each other and this is invaluable. If you haven’t already got a WhatsApp group or similar in place for your street please consider setting one up.
Many people have already been helped but this situation will continue for some time and I would encourage people seeking assistance who haven’t got support in place, or those who wish to volunteer locally, to call the County Council’s Community and Volunteer Hub on 0300 500 8080. They will be co-ordinating this support centrally and then Rushcliffe Borough Council staff will be involved in assisting locally.
Please follow the latest government advice to stay home and save lives, whilst going out once a day if you can for a walk, run or bike ride. Our parks remain open in line with the current advice to support exercise but please remember to follow the guidance to ensure you’re always two metres away from others when in public spaces.
We know livelihoods are also at stake for so many of our wonderful Rushcliffe business owners and their staff. Our teams are contacting businesses to distribute information on vital business grants. There is also information on our website at www.rushcliffe.gov.uk about this. All those eligible will be contacted in the coming days on how they can receive this support and there will be more help for council tax payers soon too through the central government hardship fund.
It is incredibly challenging for all organisations, not just the public sector but as I have said, businesses and self-employed residents too.
The Council’s senior officers are involved in supporting county wide work with other agencies such as Nottinghamshire County Council, the NHS and Police to provide a joint approach to supporting vulnerable residents during the COVID-19 crisis.
At the Council, staff continue to be redeployed to maintain refuse collection services and ensure that we can pay business grants in a timely way. We are endeavouring to maintain services as normal wherever possible with the latest information on the website.
Thank you to residents for your patience and understanding when you are contacting us. Your spirit has been incredible in the face of such uncertainty and difficulty as we hear of so many who are tackling huge challenges at home and work.
For you still to take the time to safely show your thanks and appreciation of services, for example to our waste teams when performing their essential roles in the community, is inspiring. Youngsters creating posters of rainbows of hope and waving at our crews when they carry out the bin collections continues to add a spring to their step.
Please make sure you stay safe and let’s hope we can reach a more stable and safer environment as soon as possible.
My thanks again to all who are safely helping others and very best wishes.
Cllr SJ Robinson,
Leader of the Council